Turmeric – The Golden Boy of Spices
Turmeric has long been a favourite of mine in the kitchen. Its golden colour lends a richness to rice and quinoa dishes, which can lift them out of the everyday to something quite special to look at. Unfortunately, it also stains EVERYTHING around. Whether using powdered or fresh, my fingers usually look like those belonging to a “60-a-day” kinda gal!!
Turmeric’s main component, curcumin, which is responsible for its golden hue, is probably one of the most studied nutrients on the planet, and there is plenty of evidence to prove that it does a lot more than just make dishes pretty! It’s a powerhouse of health benefits too.
It’s a potent anti-inflammatory, so a big friend to those who suffer with joint problems. In fact, for many years, yoga students following ayurvedic wisdom have taken warm turmeric milk in order to improve flexibility.
It also acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are the fire-fighters which mop up the nasty free radicals that play havoc with our tissues, undermining our health and aging us to boot.
It helps to stimulate bile flow, so aids digestion.
It’s antimicrobial so inhibits the growth of pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi) so has long been used as a preservative in food preparations. Gargling with turmeric and salt can help to ease a sore throat.
If you are interested in keeping your health in tip-top shape, it’s definitely a good idea to introduce more turmeric into your daily diet.
In this blog I have a recipe for Golden Turmeric Paste
Tomorrow, I’ll be blogging a recipe for Spicy Turmeric Coconut Milk. Yum, yum, yum.
I found the recipe for the paste online. There are lots of posts out there – all with pretty much the same formula as below.
Giving it a helping hand
The tricky thing about Curcumin is its poor bioavailability, which simply means how much you actually absorb and use when you eat it. It needs a helping hand (or two or three – ha ha!!) to facilitate its journey from your plate to your cells!!
t’s therefore advised to combine it with both
· freshly ground black pepper (this contains piperine which enhances the uptake of curcumin)
· some form of fat (curcumin is fat soluble and so travels more easily when there is fat present). I use coconut oil.
It’s also helps to heat it gently too.
Recipe for Golden Turmeric Paste
This makes a great kitchen staple that can be added to soups, risottos and other dishes at the end. I add a teaspoon per person. One friend adds it to her morning porridge.
- Half cup of turmeric powder
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 1/3 cup of raw coconut oil (or olive oil)
- 1.5 teasp freshly ground black pepper
- Place turmeric and water in a pan. Set on a low heat and simmer.
- Simmer for approx. 7 – 10 mins. Add more water if it looks too dry.
- Remove from heat and stir in the coconut oil and freshly ground black pepper. (Note – I have added the pepper into the pan to simmer with the turmeric.)
- Mix well and allow to cool before transferring it to a glass jar.
- Keep in fridge. (Keeps well for about 2-3 weeks plus.)